Mike Michaels

 

     So you want a bio huh. Where to start? How about the Post Office, I worked there after I got out of the Army while deciding if I should return to college and just generally deciding what to do with the rest of my life. Thatís where this picture comes in, my ID was washed (I think the spin cycle did the most damage.) and dried (Although the heat probably lead to delamination.) so that where there once was an official photo left my friend Mark a blank canvas to doodle a delightful new image on.
     Anyways after smoking an awful lot of dope and drinking warehouses of beer I came to the conclusion that I was a poet or at least becoming one. What the hell, I always had a sheet of paper folded in four and stuffed into my apron pocket, pen in the pencil pocket. The words just flowed out of me. I knew I was the best and I reveled in the power that I thought that knowledge gave me. It wasnít just rock and roll, although I do love it, it was jazz, Miles, Sonny, Keith, and Monk, ďStraight No Chaser. ď
     I hung around the PO for what was it five years but there was just too much drinking and doping. I wanted to sit down and write and not get chewed out for it. I wanted to read until I couldnít hold my eyes open any more, sleep and wake up to read again. I wanted to study at the university. I had started part time, going to school during the day and loading mail trucks at night but just couldnít make it work. One time, a fat, angry boss asked me what I wanted to do, work for the Post Office or go to college?
I quit, started school full time and collected on my GI Bill. Uncle Sam might say that I had wasted his money but I had the time of my life taking courses in every school, sampling every discipline. Waiting until the last class to drop a course I knew Iíd fail. In six years I had 120 credits; it was time to go and I had a general bachelorís degree and that was about it. Except that I had graduated from college, woo, who.
Meanwhile I had taken a job at City Hall answering the phones in the off hours. It gave me plenty of time to read and write. Being a poet you really donít need anything else. But Iím getting ahead of the story. Like this thing has a strong narrative line here anyway.
     You know I wore that badge a least a couple of months until I got tired of the joke and asked for a new one. Ah the early seventies. And thatís how I became a poet or at least that part of the story. If you like it tell Mary Ann you want more. Otherwise I can be writing verse here.


 

The Channel

In a small wooden boat
 
Me in mommas arms and
 
Dad trying to get that darn
 
2 HP outboard to start he
 
Hadnít built it so it didnít
 
Work well, water lapping
 
Against stern, gentle current

Carried us into the bay, this

Photograph she gave me

So I should not forget how

One should float into life.





The Pretty Room

Your scent, I turn on the light
 
Walls washed in pink and pale blue
 
That shelf delicate knicks, knack. Who
 
But you could wear that lace. Flight
 
Of silk or Lycra more than slight
 
Bare feet in soft pile, come to
 
Me glowing like those pearls. Night
 
Or just before dawn on that bed
 
In the soft knot of almost dream
 
After unraveling follow the thread
 
Calling you say trust the stream.
 
Forgive me for what I havenít said
 
I am often so close to the mean.






Barefoot Priest


Through cloisterís door, silence
 
Brushing the hems of penitents
 
Prostrate in prayer. Forgiveness,
 
I, their confessor, counselor,
 
Searching in the dark for
 
Unseen light. Bits of foolscap
 
Falling from my sleeves,
 
Words written for God.
 
They carry and copy them
 
Share my supplications. In a
 
Church as hot and dry as Spain
 
Itself, I am punished for seeking.
 
Have I become too important?
 
After vespers, close your eyes sisters.
 
This I know. He is with you, sleep.



Copyright © 2010 Mike Michaels